A Baltimore Dance Incubator Is Real / State Emergency Funding / Small Budget Dance Makers / Dance is a Weapon / Social Bonding

A Baltimore Dance Incubator

I’m pleased to announce that we (I couldn’t have done it alone…) have secured a commitment from the Southwest Partnership to “generate a design that meets the 21st century needs of the dance community” at the Lord Baltimore Theater.  Importantly, this is described as a “state-of-the-art incubator for dance.”

This process (at this building) began over a year ago, with the acquisition of the property by the Southwest Partnership in April 2019.  Many of you will also be aware that I’ve been deep into the economic, artistic, and practical gaps that exist for dance and movement arts in and around Baltimore city for much longer than that, so things may move quickly from here.

The immediate next steps involve identifying potential candidates to serve on the board of directors for a new non-profit organization, and raising a first round of funding to develop the design concept to a budget-able and fund-able stage. 

To that end, I have a few immediate requests:

  • Please let me know if you have any suggested candidate board members;
  • Please let me know what your specific hopes and expectations are – this is an incubator.  What do YOU need to create a nurturing, accessible, affordable, and “state of the art” facility?  I already have a lot to work with from the Baltimore Regional Dance Survey and previous engagements, but this is an opportunity to dream big and get very specific.  No promises that your dreams will come true, but… Please do express those dreams. Now is the time to get into the very specific details.
  • If you have any experience or wisdom to share about local funding organizations for dance or cultural facilities in and around Baltimore, I’d love to learn from you…

Thanks to everyone that attended the public meetings, indulged by sometimes oblique questions, and participated in the surveys and conversations.  This made a huge difference.

State Emergency Funding

Maryland’s Governor announced an $3 million expansion of the The Maryland State Arts Council Emergency Grant Program.  https://governor.maryland.gov/2020/10/22/governor-hogan-announces-250-million-maryland-strong-economic-recovery-initiative/

Small Budget Dance Makers

Dance/NYC released their “Defining ‘Small-Budget’ Dance Makers in a Changing Dance Ecology” report a couple weeks ago.  Find that here:  https://www.dance.nyc/programs/research/2020/10/Defining-Small-Budget-Dance-Makers-in-a-Changing-Dance-Ecology-Report/

Could Dance Be a Weapon All Over Again?

Gia Kourlas opines on the relevance of the New Dance Group in 2020 – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/22/arts/dance/dance-future-pandemic.html

Ford Foundation Commitment to Dance

The Ford Foundation leads a $156 million commitment to support Black, Latinx, Asian and Indigenous Arts Organizations ( https://www.fordfound.org/the-latest/news/sixteen-major-donors-and-foundations-commit-unprecedented-156-million-to-support-black-latinx-asian-and-indigenous-arts-organizations/ ).  Dance figures prominently in this effort – of the 20 organizations selected, four are about dance – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Hispánico, Dance Theater of Harlem, Urban Bush Women (most are museums).

Moving Together and Social Bonds

From the October issue of Scientific American, an interesting piece… “Moving in Sync Creates Surprising Social Bonds among People” –
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/moving-in-sync-creates-surprising-social-bonds-among-people/

Please #BRDS2020 and bring friends to #BRDS2020 ( https://inthedancersstudio.com/brds2020 )
Please stay home.
Please keep dancing.
Please reach out to people directly and personally. They will miss seeing/dancing/working with you. I will miss you.
Simple acts of kindness do matter. Point out beauty when you can. Bring a little joy to someone.
If there is something I can do, please let me know.

MSAC grant (due August 3) / MPT STIRcrazy / SBA grant / DETI

America is not doing very well with the pandemic response, which now puts the fall/winter season in serious jeopardy.  Be safe out there.

Also, since I’m unlikely to have access to archives and libraries for some time, I’ve decided to slice up the treatise on dance in the region and push the mostly-finished parts out to the world so you (and everyone else) in the community can start tearing it apart and use it to make plans and dream visions for the future of dance in the region.  At this point, I think it’s more important to get the material out there sooner, rather than better.  I still do need to assemble some resources to make that happen, but thanks for your patience on this thing.  The deep-dives into history and stories will come eventually.

MNRI-MSAC Grant opportunity

Part of the Maryland Nonprofit Recovery Initiative, the Maryland State Arts Council has an emergency grant program, with a coming-real-soon-now deadline (August 3).  This is a pretty limited pool of money ($3 million), so make sure you address EVERY point in the rubric if you apply.  Detailed information here: https://www.msac.org/grants/emergency-grant

MPT STIRcrazy

This has been around a while, but… apparently still looking for submissions.  Dance is historically poorly represented with MPT (lookin’ at you ArtWorks…), so this is a bit of a chance to bend that curve.  MPT STIRcrazy is looking for “YOUR creative endeavors during this time of COVID-19.”  Submission information here: https://www.mpt.org/programs/stircrazy/

ArtWorks is re-tooling for their new season, so it would be great to see dance (and more importantly, LOCAL dance) in their new format.  Give them some amazing stuff with STIRcrazy – that might help.

SBA Grant/Loan program

For gig workers (teaching and performing gigs do count…), there’s an SBA program that offers a $1000 grant and $10,000 loan, but… it’s confusing.  If you are a sole proprietor, without employees, a contractor, a freelancer, or a gig worker, and you were in business before 2020, you qualify.  The best description I’ve found is from the Motley Fool people at USA Today ( https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/07/14/uber-drivers-gig-workers-get-an-extra-1000-coronavirus-stimulus-funds/112154302/ ).  Pay special attention to the “Are there any strings attached?” section.  You should be able to get the grant and refuse the loan (assuming there are still funds available).  If you have success with this, please do let me know, so I can forward your experience to others.

Dance Educators Training Institute 2020

DETI (Dance Educators Training Institute) is virtual this year. August 17-19.  DETI is presenting 12 sessions over three days from.  More information here:  https://www.clancyworks.org/deti/

Know anyone with Dance/USA?

I’m looking for someone at Dance/USA to talk about distribution for material about dance in the Baltimore Region… anyone connected?

And, because we gotta have a little joy in our lives… Some cut paper dance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cib8MM_kxrE

Please #BRDS2020 and bring friends to #BRDS2020 ( https://inthedancersstudio.com/brds2020 )
Please stay home.
Please keep dancing.
Please reach out to people directly and personally.  They will miss seeing/dancing/working with you.  I will miss you.
Simple acts of kindness do matter.  Point out beauty when you can. Bring a little joy to someone.
If there is something I can do, please let me know.

Some readers, Arts Summit 2020, and Broken History

I’m getting close to a next revision of “Dance in the Baltimore Region,” and once again looking for a few good readers. This revision is up to about 100 pages, about half of which will be mostly familiar to previous readers. So, if you’ve got some time on your hands and feel like telling me what I’ve gotten wrong so far, please be in touch.

This is also Maryland Arts Summit week. This is an all-virtual event, using Crowdcast and Google meeting, and recorded versions of the sessions will be available after the live event. Sorry I didn’t get this out ahead of the first day, but… MSAC probably has you on their radar already. In case they don’t, information is here: https://mdarts.org/summit/

Something that’s been in my notes for a while went public last week – an exploration of the first Nutcracker in America, and I imagine it’s not the one you’re thinking of… https://www.inthedancersstudio.com/2020/05/changing-history-a-different-first-nutcracker-in-america/

Please #BRDS2020 and bring friends to #BRDS2020 ( https://inthedancersstudio.com/brds2020 )
Please stay home.
Please keep dancing.
Please reach out to people directly and personally. They will miss seeing/dancing/working with you. I will miss you.
Simple acts of kindness do matter. Point out beauty when you can. Bring a little joy to someone.
If there is something I can do, please let me know.

Research Help, City Grants, Giving Tuesday and Some good feels

It’s been pretty quiet in recent days…  First, a couple requests for help…

Does anyone know anything about Equus the Ballet, performed at the Mechanic in March 1980?

With libraries closed, I have limited access to source material, so taking a bit of a long shot… Do you know anyone with a personal copy of Baltimore Magazine from October 1978?

A little business…

Baltimore City’s Small Business Assistance Fund opens tomorrow (May the 4th be with you…).  Full information is available here ( https://www.baltimoretogether.com/ ).  Important for the dance world, non-profits within Baltimore City that rely on earned income are eligible.  Maximum grant is $15,000.

GivingTuesday ( https://www.givingtuesday.org/ ) is now May 5.

And some fun things… Viruses don’t see lines on maps.
Vincent Thomas, Towson University Department of Dance, Modern Repertory for Men- Spring 2020   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqjAqTGZmrE

Glitter (nudity) with Hajiba Fhamy – https://vimeo.com/391525572

Dancing to SARS-Cov-2-inspired music in [empty] Budapest – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgwdGctca4I

Quarantine Dance Specials 2020 from Peigan Powwow Productions  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IgHYXvixBQ

Not exactly dance, but some good feels from Philadelphia…. Mr. Y Not – https://vimeo.com/408841106

Please #BRDS2020 and bring friends to #BRDS2020 ( https://inthedancersstudio.com/brds2020 )
Please stay home.
Please keep dancing.
Please reach out to people directly and personally.  They will miss seeing/dancing/working with you.  I will miss you.
Simple acts of kindness do matter.  Point out beauty when you can. Bring a little joy to someone.
If there is something I can do, please let me know.

1 Week to The Deconstruction / MSAC Emergency Grants update / Things to do at home / Get a job / Party with DJ Supream

May 1-3, 2020 – “The Deconstruction is a global creative collaboration event held online (and in real life) for artists, makers, creators, students, parents, and everyone else!”  https://www.thedeconstruction.org/

MSAC Emergency Grants program has some updates – See https://www.msac.org/grants/emergency-grant

A chance to go to Harvard (sortof…).  First Nights – Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring: Modernism, Ballet, and Riots.  Class is self-paced.  https://www.edx.org/course/stravinskys-rite-of-spring-modernism-ballet-and-ri

From the great people at Fractured Atlas “Security and Privacy Tools for Artistic Collaboration” – https://blog.fracturedatlas.org/security-privacy-tools-artistic-collaboration

Wide Angle Youth Media is looking for a Program Director – https://www.wideanglemedia.org/join-our-team

Reginald F. Lewis Museum Museum Nights at Home Quarantine Party II with DJ Supream May 7, 6pm – https://lewismuseum.org/event/museum-nights-home/

Please #BRDS2020 and bring friends to #BRDS2020 ( https://inthedancersstudio.com/brds2020 )
Please stay home.
Please keep dancing.
Please reach out to people directly and personally.  They will miss seeing/dancing/working with you.  I will miss you.
Simple acts of kindness do matter.  Point out beauty when you can. Bring a little joy to someone.
If there is something I can do, please let me know.

Artist Relief Funds, Put Your Mask On, MSAC (April 21 3pm) and a shout out to DLNY, and some other bits…

Artist Relief is a coalition of major arts donors and offers $5000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19.  More info here:  https://www.artistrelief.org/


Baltimore has it’s own version, through the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.  Info here: http://promotionandarts.org/arts-council/baltimore-artist-emergency-relief-fund-0


Loyola’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers a Crisis Navigator program, offering online consultation with business experts to help you through these times – https://www.loyola.edu/department/center-innovation-entrepreneurship/community-involvement/loyola-crisis-navigators


If you have a business, Maryland has launched a Business Relief Wizard ( https://reliefwizard.net/ ), to guide you through available programs.


Baltimore Club gets into public health – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-tTqJZeNyw   Put Your Mask On


Maryland State Arts Council Creative Conversations (now on Google Meet) –
Creative Conversations: Dance
April 21st, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Led by MSAC Executive Director, Ken Skrzesz
Meeting Link: meet.google.com/vyr-dgyb-ikq
Call in: 317-953-3049‬
PIN: ‪104 020 529#

Complete list of conversations here: https://www.msac.org/news/creative-conversations-0


Because we could all use a little bit of good news… Congratulations are in order for Josh Prince and the team at Dance Lab New York (formerly Broadway Dance Lab – https://www.dancelabny.org ).  After converting their annual gala event (originally scheduled for March 30) to a “virtual gala” on just a few weeks’ notice, they managed to exceed their $10,000 fundraising goal.  It is possible to make things happen…

…. and some recognition for Chris Kopec from a couple weeks ago – https://www.wbaltv.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-ellicott-city-deejay-chris-kopec-virtual-dance-party/31885994


And I’ll wrap this up with a few entertainment options….

Two hours of the Soul Train Line – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nfJfqCD9y8

If you’re more into Latin fusion… 2/3rds of Trio Caliente ( https://triocaliente.com/ ) will be doing a couch concert at 9pm tonight via Facebook.

If you miss Swan Lake, this one gets faster with each tendu… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9XDuVzhs2k (warning, potentially seizure-inducing).  Runtime is less than 3 minutes.


Please #BRDS2020 and bring friends to #BRDS2020 ( https://inthedancersstudio.com/brds2020 )

Please stay home ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4PnSYAqQHU )

Please keep dancing.

Please reach out to people directly and personally.  They will miss seeing/dancing/working with you.  I will miss you.

Simple acts of kindness do matter.  Point out beauty when you can. Bring a little joy to someone.

If there is something I can do, please let me know.

More local resources and some things about Zoom[ing]

If you’re not already aware, https://www.dancingalonetogether.org/ is evolving as a centralized resource for dancing online.  Featuring a growing set of online classes and dance-focused video, this might keep you busy for a while…

Wide Angle Youth Media has put together another locally-focused directory of resources for these pandemic times.  You can see that here:  https://www.wideanglemedia.org/covid-19-resources

Too late to engage, but a tip of the hat to Mobtown Ballroom for their Mobtown Telethon (Replays here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9SmO-IfFFY [part 1] and here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDqjPPiKWX8 [part 2]).

With this enforced downtime, there’s a bit of an opportunity to visit things from months and years past.  Aeon has some nice things about dance, so I thought it would be nice to throw some attention their way… Dig into their history for more.  A few items (starting with one of my go-to explainers):

It seems a lot of dancers have jumped into Zoom as a way to keep engaged.  Please be careful with this… LOTS of security and other issues with Zoom.  Zoombombing turned into a thing.  And you may have noticed NYC schools banned Zoom (among others).  For a serious look at issues with Zoom, check here ( https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2020/04/security_and_pr_1.html ).  For alternatives…. If you’re broadcasting a class, check out Open Broadcaster Software ( https://obsproject.com/ ) and if you’re doing things one-on-one, one more-secure option is Wire ( https://wire.com/ ).

Now that I’ve scared everyone away from Zoom, the Maryland State Arts Council will be hosting a conversation on dance with Zoom in a couple hours:


Creative Conversations: Dance
April 7th, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Led by MSAC Executive Director, Ken Skrzesz
Meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/6114214132
Meeting ID: 611 421 4132

MSAC has also launched an Emergency Grant program that applies to both organizations and individual artists.  MSAC will prioritize funding to applicants that cannot find other options.  Information here:  https://www.msac.org/grants/emergency-grant

Ok, I need to get this out into the ether so you have enough time to catch that MSAC thing.

Please BRDS and bring friends to BRDS ( https://inthedancersstudio.com/brds2020 ).

Please stay home.

Please keep dancing.

Please reach out to people directly and personally.  They will miss seeing/dancing/working with you.  I will miss you.

Simple acts of kindness do matter.  Point out beauty when you can. Bring a little joy to someone.

If there is something I can do, please let me know.

Quick one today – United Nations calls creatives

“The United Nations (UN) needs your help in translating critical public health messages, into work that will engage and inform people across different cultures, languages, communities and platforms. The shortlisted work will reach everyone, everywhere.”

https://www.talenthouse.com/i/united-nations-global-call-out-to-creatives-help-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19


Colorado Ballet Live Stream for the Classroom

Samantha Hyde invites you to watch Swan Lake live on October 6th at 10am MST.  If you are interested in watching the FREE live stream for this season, please visit the following website: http://coloradoballet.org/education/live-stream.

This live stream is specifically meant for educational purposes as Hyde proudly states that “During the 2015/2016 season, we reached approximately 7, 700 participants in 14 Colorado counties, 30 states and 6 countries (Ecuador, Ireland, England, Greece, Italy, Canada) through the live stream of our student matinee series”.

SITES ELIGIBLE FOR LIVE STREAMING AT NO COST ARE:

  • Public, charter and private schools (ECE-12th grade)
  • Colleges and universities
  • Hospitals that serve children and youth
  • Homeless shelters that serve children and youth
  • Non-profit organizations that serve children and youth (Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, libraries, etc.)

Please check out their website to receive permission to watch the live stream. Student handouts and activities are also included to enhance the learning experience for your classroom!

Update: Livestream of The Nutcracker
Friday, December 2, 2016
Start time: 11 a.m. MST
Approx. end time: 1 p.m. MST

POET Companies: Online Audition Profile

logoPOET Companies is an online organization composed of different branches, such as Theatricals Marine, which allows you to create a free online profile with your resume, headshot, and demo video. A variety of entertainment producers often sift through this website when looking to cast performers such as dancers, singers, actors, acrobats, and speciality acts.

POET Theatricals Marine is the cruise industry live entertainment production subsidiary of The POET Companies. Our team focuses on the design, development, implementation and maintenance of cutting edge spectacular live entertainment concepts aboard cruise ships. Since our first charter production in 2005, POET Theatricals Marine show productions have entertained over 6,000,000 cruise ship guests in over 5000 live performances at sea. Our cruise ship production experience includes charter cruise headline entertainment via customization of one of our land based productions as well as full cruise ship production show conceptualization, technical and artistic design, construction, show installation and ongoing show maintenance.

For more information please visit their website @ https://poet.co/poet-marine/casting/